Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ptolemaic Terrascope returns

Just when you thought your favorite psychedelic/folkie magazine had disappeared, it's re-emerged, in another land no less. Phil McCullen founded Ptolemaic Terrascope in 1989 and had based it out of the UK. It expanded so that it wasn't just a quality publication but also an annual festival. Though McCullen stepped down from his duties, he handed his publication over to someone very capable who coincidently shared the same initials as the magazine (or maybe it wasn't a coincidence): the inimitable Mr. Pat Thomas.

Thomas has an impressive background. In addition to his editorial duties, he's written for the likes of Crawdaddy, MOJO and Perfect Sound Forever, where I first encountered him. He's written articles for us on krautrock and English folk among other things. In addition, he's led the psych/jazz combo Mushroom for a number of years. And... he's headed several labels including Heyday and now the reissuing powerhouse that is Water Records. If that wasn't enough, when I was putting together a collection of long-gone Athens legends Oh OK, Thomas was the one who topped off their small recorded output with a prime live show that he recorded. He's even said that he's still game to write for PSF. Which makes feel like a slacker since I couldn't do half of that...

That's why when I heard that Thomas was taking over Terrascope, I knew that it would be in good hands. The latest issue (can it really be only number 36?) and Thomas' first at the helm has a Devandra Banhart feature plus interviews with Shirley Collins, Davey Graham, Vashti Bunyan and Ron Asheton (Stooges). It that ain't enough, there's a free CD with Doug Yule (Velvet Underground), Barbara Manning, Six Organs of Admittance, Steve Wynn and some of the interview subjects.

Needless to say, any sane music nut would love PT (the magazine and the guy).


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